Monday May 22, Domaine Passot Vineyard, Villie Morgon
Today really has been a great day with lots going on. Had read about the Monday market in Louhans which was described as being very big so we walked into town about 9 and just couldn’t believe our eyes. But I am so annoyed as I took so many photos with my little Sony camera, and was looking forward to sharing on the blog, only to find out that I had not quite clicked the card back in, consequently not a single photo. Drat!!! Many comments from Ian about the so called “Photographer”, but have now made sure that it won’t happen againand have changed the settings.
There were hundreds of stalls lining the streets of the town as well as in the large area where the Motorbike festival had been yesterday. And the crowds were amazing, there were people everywhere. There were many stalls selling clothing and accessories, but the ones that really caught my eye were the food stalls – huge range of vegetables, cheeses, olives, breads and meats including roosters still with their heads and feet on, and dishes of frogs!!! There was a huge section that sold live poultry, rabbits and small birds and even peacocks, and the roosters were crowing. Still can’t believe I haven’t got photos of it all – guess we will just have to find another market. It was well over 2 hours later before we got back to the van, brewed a coffee then packed up and headed off.
I am very pleased with my Michelin map book that is so detailed and easy to follow, and using that I managed to key a route into Jilly that took us south east on the minor D roads. Very easy driving through small villages and large areas of rolling farmland with temperatures rising to the mid 20’s.
We have 2 large Propane bottles in the van, which are German and last year were able to exchange them throughout Germany and Holland and in Scandinavia we got them refilled. But knew we were going to have issues with them in France as they have different bottles with different fittings. Hitten had given us some fittings that he felt might be useful in France so when we stopped at a store today Ian managed to find a bottle that we could adapt and use. Have had to store the empty German bottle away, but good to know we are all set now for the rest of the trip.
I found in the French Passion book a rather nice looking winery in the Beaujolais region that looked to be a good place for a hot afternoon. What struck us immediately was how squat the vines are in this region with no big frames holding them up. We wound up some narrow roads to the winery where we were met by Madame Passot (sorry, I can’t remember her name) who was most welcoming and led us to our parking place - a wonderful terraced grass area in the middle of the vines overlooking the valley…and with an old cherry tree in the corner laden with ripe fruit! Just so perfect on a hot afternoon. She invited us to the cellar at 7pm for a tasting.
|Kurt and his "Labelled" car - he designs the labels.|
|A very proud owner.|
|The vines in this region are very short.|
Chairs out and sat in the shade enjoying a cold beer and the view. Not long later a group of 5 classic Citroen cars and a Westphalia camper pulled in and set up camp on the lower level. Such a happy group. Found out later that they were from the North East of France and were heading to Nimes in the South this weekend for a huge rally of more than 3000 Citroens. What a sight that will be. Managed to get some “domestic” chores done and fully intended to go for a ride but that didn’t quite happen, maybe in the morning. Although we did ride along to the tasting!!
Simon Passot who is the fifth generation of his family on this vineyard took the tasting in the cave like cellar – such a great atmosphere, and as he spoke some English it was excellent, and we learnt so much about French wine growing. Didn’t realise that it is not allowed to water the vines in France, an age-old tradition that they still stick by. Wine making in France is treated as a real art, not just a commercial business.
We were also joined by the “Citroen” group as well as Hendrik, a German wine student who is training here and spoke excellent English. It was such a fun evening with excellent wines. They are so well priced compared with quality wines in New Zealand, and we bought some bottles to put in our “cellar”. This is the idea of The French Passion group where you pay nothing to stay the night but you have access to very good French products, just perfect!
It was 9.30 and still very light when Simon and Hendrik arrived with the wine that everyone had bought. It has been a great day.
|Simon pouring for the tasting.|
|And delivery from Simon and Hendrick|